Why we should continue to post during COVID-19
What are restaurants, cafes and bars if not places to enjoy people's company & enjoy time with loved ones and the COVID-19 quarantine period is nothing different. Just because a lot of premises in the hospitality industry are not open, does not mean they can not foster these moments along with a sense of community amongst their customers.
In this article, you will find several examples of how other businesses are remaining a pillar of strength within the community during these uncertain times. Along with this, we will outline some pivotal reasons to remain active on social media during a time that is turbulent for the entire world.
Being in quarantine means endless time alone at home but it also gives everyone near-unlimited time to refresh Twitter, Instagram, and other feeds for the very latest in what threatens to be a catastrophic few months. However, not all information posted needs to be harrowing and worrisome. In fact, this is the time when accounts can create content that will be remembered for putting smiles on their fans' faces, making people giggle or teaching everyone a new activity or two that will brighten up their days. This is a time to showcase what is important to your company and support the community in any way that you can, this is an opportunity for businesses. This time will be remembered in years to come and the restaurants that support positive social messages will be remembered too.
Collaborate With Customers
Cloud Picker Coffee Roasters is an excellent example of a cafe who is going the extra mile to help the frontline and inviting their community to help. They have created a campaign asking people to donate preloved coffee brewers and french presses and they will donate ground coffee along with coffee brewing instructions and deliver them to the frontline staff in hospitals and health centres during the crisis. This first posi received 284 likes on Instagram, the follow up post showing the delivery of the coffee to the hospitals received 455 likes, the average post gets 110 likes. What does this tell us? It tells us that people are impressed by this business's actions, brand awareness has been increased and this is a campaign will be remembered. We’re not sure about you, but we will definitely be buying Cloud Picker Coffee after the quarantine...why? Because Forbes Magazine tells us ‘every entrepreneur needs three kinds of capital: financial, human, and social. ‘social capital — the connections and shared values that exist between people and enable cooperation — is the key to entrepreneurial success.’ The Cloud Picker campaign has created a connection that will in turn impact their success.
Highlight How You Are Supporting Others
Restaurants like Hang Dai in Dublin found themselves with a surplus of food and ingredients once closures began in Ireland, but they chose to give to the staff of Crumlin Children’s Hospital in an effort to contribute in whatever way they could. Actions like this create a lasting bond, not only with the immediate groups involved, but with the community as a whole. Allowing your followers to see the steps you’re taking, big or small, can give a much-needed morale boost when it’s needed most. This individual post received 715 likes on Instagram alone. Their average post receives roughly 150 likes, indicating an increased interest and awareness of their business.
Open For Takeaway...You May Be Surprised
By supporting the community and staying open in some form, a lot of restaurants and cafes can reap the rewards once they reopen. House Roots Coffee owner, Jimmy Lee, showcases just that when he was interviewed by THE BON APPÉTIT STAFF last week after launching a new takeaway coffee service by saying ...
“We can’t help but feel uncertain, but we’re blown away by the support of our community. We were pretty shocked the first time we did take-out. Our numbers actually went up. People who can’t come out are buying gift cards. They’re leaving extra tips to help our baristas out. Our community is really here for us. That’s been a surprising takeaway in this dark time. We’re surviving because of them. People don’t really need coffee because it’s not an essential service. But they’ve been telling us it’s essential for them.” Supporting the community in whatever ways you can will not only provide much-needed relief to your regular customers, but it will create a relationship with them that will last long beyond COVID-19. Though this may be a time where business slows, it is not something to try and capitalise on. Rather, this is a time where all businesses, from multinational chains to local independent restaurants, can show what they value and how they too are members of the community, just like the individuals they are serving."
Entertain your audience
The Barge pub, a brand that is typically known for being quite witty, humourous and cheeky, have introduced a new ‘Social Distancing Pick-Up lines’ series across their social channels. The series looks to add a bit of levity to the current social media climate. Ultimately, your community doesn’t want every single message to be reminding them of COVID-19. Continuing with your tone of voice through this time can provide some welcomed laughs and escapism from the current situation.
Ask for support
Sometimes being direct can be the way. Kale & Coco, a cafe in Dublin used social media to highlight the ways in which the community can support their business through this time. From direct financial support in the form of online orders or vouchers to emotional support in the form of motivational messages or reviews. As mentioned previously your business is as much a part of the community as the people it serves. If there are any ways that they can support then tell them, the support may be surprising.
What we have seen over the last few weeks indicates that positivity, gestures of goodwill and entertainment are appreciated and give your social media profiles an added value during this time for your customers. Equally results show that the audiences of these businesses appreciate it, they appreciate that these businesses are remaining part of the conversation. Let us not forget that the increase in following that these brands receive now will be a great help to them once they do eventually reopen fully. Coupled with the power of social media advertising they are truly increasing the amount of people they can reach and the amount of people who will have a genuine connection with them.
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